Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sunrise and Windows

When did I see a sunrise last?
I am wondering for sometime about this-when was the last time I saw a sunrise? I remember seeing that on a coffee bottle whenever I shop for groceries! What about the real one? Last month, on a flight to Chennai, I saw sunrise. Before that? One sunrise I can never forget is one at Kochi, near Lakeshore hospital. That sunrise is a part of an experience I am trying hard to forget. But this sunrise on the way to Chennai was very nice!
It was an Indian Airlines flight and the AC was not working. Many passengers complained, many of them were rude. After some time, a senior air-hostess came to answer the people who were complaining. I overheard the last part of their coversation...She was saying: "This is the first flight of the day and it takes time for the AC to start. What can we do?"
Strange-an AC of an airbus A320 takes 40 minutes to start?
No apologies and no word from the captain. May be, he was not aware of all this.
We didn't have any minister on board to force his way and open the emergency door!

I was giving a talk at Chennai and I asked this question to the partcipants. There was a deafening silence after that. After some uneasy moments and lots of ..., ..... and .... and pauses most of them said they dont even remember when was the last time they saw a sunrise!.

When was the last time you saw a Windows screen or a keyboard or an ATM machine? Very easy to answer!

This throws up so many uneasy thoughts in my mind. Are we moving so much away from nature that we dont see any of the beautiful experiences gifted to us?
Are we being cleverly engineered to believe that webshots sunrises are better?
We start to believe that a computer can solve all our problems?
Everything is turning digital. Searching for a partner, fixing up a date, chatting, exchanging notes, finding out astrological compatability (see the kareena-shahid advt in TOI today?), finding a name for a new born baby, fixing up a holiday, booking a ticket, bill pay, applying for a loan..............everything is digital now. Of course, some are very useful.....I loved the onlinesbi site and use it to pay so many bills........it is very convenient to book your tickets online!
But how dependant are we on computers?
Should I spend some time without this digital leash?
Once my wife was looking at a sunset and pointing out to a lovely streak of some unusual colours in the sky. I looked at it and my first reaction was that " Oh! Looks just like a clour correction in Photoshop!". Wife lost it. She screamed about my fixation towards macintosh and photoshop.
A year later, I was wandering about at the faculty of fine arts and M.S. University, Baroda (my alma matter) and looking at the annual display of work by passing out students.
It was a great experience looking at the works of Painting and Sculpture students! I always feel so small and humble and sense my ego getting smaller and smaller when I see these kind of students doing such brilliant work.
Every visit to an art school teaches me lots of lessons.
The most important one is to take time off from Macintoshes and Windows and start looking at the world beyond that!
Thanks to my wife and all those brilliant artists and art students who keep reminding me of many more surises to see!